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Cheddar, a live-streamed financial and tech video news site aimed at millennials, announced that it has raised $19 million in new VC funding at an $85 million post-money valuation. Axios spoke with company founder and CEO Jon Steinberg, who previously was president of BuzzFeed. What we learned:

Reach: Eight percent of all U.S. millennials have seen a piece of Cheddar content (90% of them within the past month), according to data compiled for the company by research firm Market Strategies International (which also does audience analytics for Cheddar rival CNBC). The figure was even higher in the 18-24 piece of that 18-34 year-old demographic, leading Steinberg to believe that the content is particularly penetrating on college campuses.

Take it as a compliment: Steinberg knows the criticism that financial news networks often are more "ambient television" than appointment viewing, but he doesn't see it as a negative. "That's what I aspire to be... we want people to look up and glance."

Distribution: Cheddar is available on all sorts of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and its own apps, but Steinberg is partial to Sling, where his content sits next to CNN and Bloomberg TV. "We're positioned like a cable news network there... and those are our most engaged viewers." He also says that Cheddar ― which currently offers three of its eight daily hours for free ― either has signed contracts or is in discussions with every "skinny bundle" in the U.S., with expectations to launch in almost all of them by the end of Q1 2018.

Revenue: The company expects to do $1 million in June revenue, at which point it also would hit profitability. The new fundraising is basically about stockpiling cash, although there will be some new capital expenditures (each new studio costs between $700k-$900k). "It's not bad to have a bank balance."

Investors: Raine Ventures led the round, and was joined by AT&T, Amazon, Altice USA, the New York Stock Exchange, Broadway Video Ventures and return backers Lightspeed Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

Go deeper

34 mins ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 40 mins ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Charted: GOP surged as Biden slumped

Expand chart
Reproduced from Gallup. (Independents were asked their party leaning.) Chart: Axios Visuals

Gallup polling found a huge shift in party preference over the course of 2021, from a 9-point Democratic advantage in the first quarter to a 5-point Republican edge in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: It's the biggest swing in one calendar year for Gallup's 30 years of tracking.